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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Wednesday, 30 April 2014 19:49

New York DEC takes over Wild Pig Hunting

We at Shotem and Caughtem have talked many times about wild boar hunting and the problems associated with this nuisance animal.  However, we have also said that it takes a united front when it comes to the elimination of animals of this caliber.  As many states already know many programs have been enacted on a government level to control populations of boa, wild hogs, lizards, snake head, carp, etc.  The list is long and the government man power and budget is scarce.  Just in our state alone we might have 1 Wildlife and Parks official that covers hundreds of thousands of acres.  These short staffed individuals are not provided the resources needed to keep an invasive species at bay.  That is why we feel New York might be making a huge mistake while populations remain small and manageable but making this decision.  Let us know your thought in the comment section below.

A new state regulation prohibits hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York State.

The ban was announced by state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens. He said the regulation is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC's statewide eradication efforts.

"Enacting a statewide regulation was important to support DEC's ongoing work to remove this invasive species from the state and to ensure that it does not become established in the wild anywhere in New York," said Commissioner Martens. "Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, and private property and public safety wherever they occur and DEC will continue to work to protect these resources and remove wild boars from the state."

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions are now present across much of the southern U.S. In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more northern states too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer "wild boar hunts," the DEC said.

Governor Cuomo signed legislation on Oct. 21 that immediately prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars.

Furthermore, the law prohibits possession, sale, transport or marketing of live Eurasian boars as of Sept. 1, 2015. The new law was an essential step in the state's efforts to prevent Eurasian boars from becoming established in the wild, the DEC said.

However, there are already small numbers of Eurasian boars on the landscape in New York. Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties (Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan and Delaware) in recent years.

The DEC is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program to remove any Eurasian boars that are reported in New York. To date, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed, the DEC said.

These efforts appeared to have made a difference. Officials said late last year that there wasn't a single report of a wild boar seen or taken locally. However, they are not willing to say that they've been completely taken off the local landscape. The feeling is that some folks, for whatever reason, are keeping quiet about what animals remain out there.

Meanwhile, the eradication efforts are expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower,according to the DEC.

"Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive," Martens said. "As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts. Eurasian boars often join together to form a 'sounder,' the name for a group of pigs that can number 20 or more individuals. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove."

Hunters pursuing wild boars in locations where baited traps have been established by DEC or USDA can also undermine these costly and labor-intensive capture efforts.

Shooting may remove one or two animals, but the rest of the sounder scatters and rarely comes back together as a group, thereby hampering eradication efforts, the DEC said.

The new regulations also prohibits anyone from disturbing traps set for wild boars or otherwise interfering with Eurasian boar eradication activities. Hunting wild boar is still allowed at enclosed hunting preserves until Sept. 1, 2015.

The regulation does provide necessary exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others who are authorized by DEC to take Eurasian boar to alleviate nuisance, property damage, or threats to public health or welfare, the DEC said.

If you've seen a Russian wild boar or any other type of feral pig, call the DEC's Cortland office at 1-607-753-3095, Extension 247, or email the DEC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include "Eurasian boar" in the subject line.. Photographs of the animals are especially helpful, so try to get a picture and include it with your report.

 
Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem heard the news that Tennessee residents are pressuring the state to open a feral pig hunting season.  We thought this would make a great debate for all to way in on the subject.  Here are some details and our thoughts.  Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

An official with the Tennessee Wildlife Commission met with concerned hunters Tuesday who want to open a new hunting season.  Their goal is to open a feral hog hunting season and allow them to use dogs when they track them. They say the animals have caused significant damage on private and public land.  Right now, hunters can kill feral hogs, but only if they get an exemption from the state.  The five counties asking for the changes are Polk, Monroe, White, Bradley and McMinn.

Though we think that feral hogs are more than a pain, there are some things we have noticed in surrounding states that we feel have worked best for this invasive species.  Wild Boar have covered much of the southern states since Christopher Columbus released the first pigs from his boat.  As many know pigs are not natural to North America.  If you travel to Texas to hunt wild pigs they will give you a stack of tags for a nominal fee.  In Oklahoma however, they decided to also create a hunting season for pigs and charge a pretty high price to do so for revenues sake.  It has backfired.  Many hunting properties began trapping pigs in Texas and importing them into the state in order to make a buck.  As such the number of pigs has doubled in the state in a relatively short amount of time.  Missouri has taken a different approach.  Kill them all.  No tags, no license, just get rid of them.  They have been able to keep the population fairly in check.  They are an impressive animal with even more impressive breeding capabilities.  They can survive in almost any climate and can double their numbers in months.

Which side of the debate and what are your thoughts on the subject?   

 
Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem love when we get the opportunity to hunt feral hogs.  We already have talked about tricks to use when night hunting and thought since the summer is upon us that we would also tell you about some tricks we use to hunt them during those hot days ahead.

Wild Boar definitely have a daily pattern.  Due to the fact that pigs don't have sweat glands they must rely on a couple of things during the hot summer days.  They need shade to get out of the sun, water sources for wallering and keeping cool and mud to keep the insects at bay.  They have a great sense of smell but they lack good vision and hearing.  So how to find a place to obtain a good shot or lure them in should you not have the luxury of a feeder.

One of the first things to look for is places where they have been coming to obtain water or to waller in the mud.  Because of their destructive patterns these areas are not hard to find.  If these places should go dry they will look in the near vicinity for options.  Like deer, pigs love to escape the heat by finding bushy areas to nap and stay cool.  You will be able to track these areas by finding game trails and looking for low hanging broken branches and tracks.  Note these areas will also be close to the water source they are using at the time.

Should you find a good wallering place and want to help your chances of luring in the animals to stay for a while for a clean shot here are some tips.  First is rotten corn.  You can take a 5 gal bucket, fill it three quarters of the way full of corn and then fill the rest with water.  Seal the bucket and leave it in the sun for a couple days and you will have what you need.  You can also use different fruits such as apples or oranges a bit of vinegar and water and do the same thing.  Another good tip is save your table scraps or unused vegetables from your kitchen place them in a bucket and then pour cherry or strawberry flavored cool aid on them to help as an attractant.  Once you find a good spot, dig a couple of holes and bury part of the bounty and throw the rest around the area to help cover your scent.  We always take out a spray bottle with diesel fuel in it and spray it on the bottom 3 feet of trees around the area.  They will rub their bodies up against the diesel laden trees and use that scent and oil as an insect repellent.

Let us know what tricks you use to lure in hogs on these hot summer days in the comment section below.  As always post your photos to the galleries and tell us about your adventures.  Most of all have fun and be safe.

Published in On Location
Thursday, 06 June 2013 14:22

Feral Hog Hunting at Night

We at Shotem and Caughtem noticed that with the rising temperatures that many would be wild boar hunters will have to switch tactics to appropriately hunt these animals by going nocturnal.  We can say that hunting at night is a whole different ball game.  Many deer hunters get only a glimpse of the rush of being in the great outdoors at night as they make their way to their stands in the pitch black.  Night is when the Wild Things come out.  A hunters senses find a whole new acuity.   Hunting at night can be both an exhilarating rush and an unnerving sense that there is more going on than one realizes.  Leaves russel as  different predators and prey move around, weird noises as animals communicate, all while you try and not give away your position.  Some hunters will find refuge in a stand, some will have some since of comfort as the retreat to their blinds and others will brave the elements by hunkering down by a tree near a creek, river or wallering spot.  

There are a whole host of products available to the would be night hunter.  Different night vision options, lights for feeders and rifles and even specialty scopes.  With the rising wild boar populations more and more options are becoming available to the average hunter.  As technology becomes smaller and more capable we feel this industry will continue to add newer technology to help advance a hunters capabilities.  Here are some of the equipment we have had the opportunity to use and our thoughts.  

When hunting feral hogs at night the least expensive option to aid in your hunt is a light mounted to your rifle.  We tried the whole light in our hand thing and it is not only awkward but ineffective.  Not one of us shining a light by hand next to our rifle were happy with the results it provided.  We found that the color of light also made a huge impact on our success.  Though many say that either green or red lights are effective, we found that red light is the only way to go.  This too comes with its challenges as red light intensity can be stifled due to it's color which effects the range capabilities.  We were impressed by the lights offered by a company called Elusive Wildlife.  Their lights come with all the necessary adaptations to mount to a rail or scope and offer great intensity for low light sensitive scopes at 150-200 yards.  They also make a red circular feeder light that has motion detection should you have the benefit of hunting a baited area.  Tip:  When using lights mounted to scopes or rifles it is best to illuminate your light high in the sky and then dropping down to sight in your animal.

Should you have a lot more cash at your disposal the night vision options are endless and pretty darn cool.  We were using an old cheaper version of an infrared monocular and they can be quite a useful tool.  Even better are some of the night vision and infrared scopes available that not only allow you to see your animal but also take your shot.  Their only down fall is the energy needs.  Tip: Many of these devices need multiple power sources to allow you to stay in your position for long periods.  On one of our nights hunts we had to change the batteries out twice so bring extras.  This technology is ever advancing so there are some useful used options that might get you a good view of your surroundings allowing you to switch to cheaper alternatives prior to taking your shot.

If you have some tips or tricks to hunting at night or what to share your experience leave your comments below or share your photos in the Shotem Gallery and tell your story.

 

Published in On Location

We at Shotem and Caughtem reported on the possible bill a couple of months ago.  Now it is official.  Oklahoma landowners can now take to the skies to hunt feral wild pigs and coyotes.  Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below or post photos of your hunt to the Shotem gallery. 

Oklahoma landowners would be able to take to the skies to hunt feral hogs and other “depredating animals” under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bill Wednesday that’s intended to help landowners control growing populations of wild hogs that have become a problem in many rural parts of the state. The wild animals are known to tear up cropland, destroy fences and spread diseases.

State law already allows the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to authorize people with a big-game commercial hunting area license to hunt wild hogs and other depredating animals— like coyotes — from aircraft. The bill signed by Fallin expands the law to include landowners and those hired by landowners.

 
Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem can not support enough the hunting of Wild Boar as not a paid expense but a necessity to curb hog populations around the United States.  Luckily, Florida has adopted a good way to curb this population.  Check out the regulations below and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

Published in News/Events

Just yesterday we at Shotem and Caughtem talked about the Wild Hog hunting pros and cons.  To back up our point Oklahoma passed a new law that will be both benefitial to helping curb the population of wild boar in the state and potentially hurt it all in one bill.  Though we would like to take only the positive aspects of what this bill could help do for local land owners, we fear it could also spur a whole new hunting outfitting industry.  Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below or show us your photos in the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.  FYI it would be a really cool experience and we consider ourselves lucky that we know some people that would jump on us taking the opportunity to rid them of these veracious animals.  It takes Shotem and Caughtem to a whole new height than just from a tree stand.  

A bill that would allow landowners to hire bush pilots to fly marksmen who would shoot feral hogs won unanimous approval Wednesday from a legislative committee, despite one lawmaker raising questions about safety.  Feral hogs continue to be a growing problem in southern Oklahoma as they root through crops and grasslands. They reproduce quickly and are a health risk because they carry diseases humans can catch, and they're not easily frightened. Some feral hogs recently came up to his house and rooted through the front lawn, he said.

Despite his concerns, Lockhart ended up voting for SB 919, which passed 15-0. It now goes to the House Calendar Committee, which will determine if it gets a hearing in the House.

Lawmakers in 2009 passed legislation that lets landowners who operate big game commercial hunting areas to hire a sharpshooter to kill feral hogs from a helicopter.

SB 919 removes the requirement that someone has to have a big game commercial hunting area license to use aircraft and gets rid of language that the aircraft be used only above land listed in the commercial hunting area license

 
Published in News/Events